MEDICAL TOURISM GROWS EXPONENTIALLY
Medical tourism is a recognized industry in the west. When Information Technology, manufacturing and technical support jobs went eastward, nobody even bothered to think that healthcare might take the same road somebody. But it did. And that’s good news for countries like India, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.
Medical care in these Asian countries cost just one-tenth of the costs in U.S.A. No wonder 50,000 Americans traveled abroad for medical care in 2006. Surgical care and dental treatment top the list of health care needs of people from America and U.K. Several of the hospitals in these countries boast state-of-the-art facilities, skilled medical professionals and medical care on par with western countries.
Insurance companies in the U.S.A. have started to recognize this form of medical care in another country as a viable alternative to high-cost medical care in the U.S. The Economic Times has a report that suggests that western insurance companies are considering covering medical tourism, as well. If one tenth of Americans travel abroad for treatment, the insurance companies could save around $1.4 billion. The report recommends that companies should consider offering SOP’s like lowered premiums or added services to boost medical tourism as it improves their bottom-line, eventually. This would again be a great impetus for medical tourism in countries like India.
India offers world-class healthcare that costs substantially less than those in developed countries, using the same technology delivered by competent Specialists attaining similar success rates. If a liver transplant costs in the range of 137,867 USD - 160,845 USD in Europe and double that in the US, a few Indian hospitals have the wherewithal to do it in around 34,466 USD - 45,955 USD. Similarly, if a heart surgery in the US costs about Rs 45,955 USD, a leading Indian hospital will do it in roughly 4,595 USD.